Thursday, July 23, 2009
Posted by Maree Anderson
I'm currently writing a futuristic novella which I'm hoping submit to a publisher for an anthology. So there's obviously a deadline.
No problem. So far I've done everything by the book *winces at the pathetic, unintended pun*.
I researched, I came up with a (hopefully) exciting idea, and I got stuck in and wrote a decent chunk.
Conscious of the deadline, I plugged my achieved wordcount and the required wordcount into my nifty little spreadsheet, decided 1500 words a day wasn't asking too damn much of my muse, and checked how many days I'd need to finish. Excellent! My estimation had been bang-on, leaving me with plenty of time to edit and polish and ultimately decide whether or not I'd risk actually emailing it off or just chalk it up to experience.
And I'm pleased to say I've achieved the minimum wordcount required with a few days of my self-imposed deadline to spare.
So I should be patting myself on the back. I should be taking a day or two to catch up with other stuff that's been sadly neglected.... you know, folding washing, grocery shopping, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming the house and the like. I should be eagerly anticipating the next stage--reading through the manuscript, checking for plot holes, tying up loose ends, proofing and editing.
Only trouble with this most excellent scenario is that my characters have totally hijacked this story and they absolutely will not let me type The End.
When I hit 25,ooo words and no end was in sight, I shrugged and let it slide. Oh well, what's another day or two? I figured I'd sleep on it, dream up the perfect ending to my heroine's current predicament--which, by the way, I hadn't foreseen at all but damn it's good!--and wrap it up in a couple of pages. Or five.
I'm still merrily typing away....
And. There's. Still. No. End. In. Sight.
And I know, just know, that these guys are not gonna let me cop out and give them anything less than they deserve--not after everything I've put them through. A quick resolution, where everything falls into place before they achieve their HEA? No way. Not this hero and heroine. Nyuh uh. They're not gonna settle for anything less than a multi-chapter word-fest and if the poor sap pounding the keyboard doesn't like it, then that's just tough.
Sheesh! I'm warning you guys for the last time: this novella better not turn into a novel. Wrap it up or you'll be sorry!
And speaking of novels and wrapping things up, here's a question for you:
Have you ever been hijiacked by your characters? Or am I--as I'm beginning to suspect--certifiable?